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As Memphis Athletic Ministries (MAM) celebrates its 25th year of ministry, we are honored to share 25 stories of impact, from current students, alumni, parents, coaches, volunteers, donors, and community partners. Among these stories is one of our new school partnerships, Compass Community Schools. MAM established a partnership with Compass in the fall of 2023 and began operating our free afterschool and sports programming at two of their locations, Compass Berclair and Compass Orange Mound. Currently more than 65 elementary and middle school youth attend each location every day. Nearly 100 of these youth have an intentional mentorship and discipleship relationship with a MAM coach by participating on a sports team. 

Beatriz Barrera, Operations Manager at Compass Community Schools, graciously shared her insights into the collaboration between Compass and MAM. Beatriz, a recent graduate of the University of Memphis, exudes enthusiasm for her role and her community. Her introduction to MAM during her university days eventually led to a partnership that she now views as an honor. For Beatriz, MAM fills a crucial void in their school communities by providing sports programming, which might otherwise be inaccessible due to the school’s size limitations.

But what truly sets MAM apart is not just the provision of sports activities but the profound impact it has on the students. Through mentorship and a positive environment, MAM’s programming has become instrumental in shaping the lives of young scholars at Compass Community Schools. With many parents occupied with work, the afterschool care provided by MAM serves as a lifeline, easing financial burdens and ensuring that children receive the support they need beyond the classroom.

La’Stephanie Brandon, a parent and volunteer cheer coach at MAM Compass Orange Mound, shared her perspective as well. Having moved to South Memphis in her adolescence, La’Stephanie understands the importance of safe and enriching environments for youth. Her son, E’dari, found a haven at MAM, where he not only participates in sports but also experiences the warmth of mentorship and community. While La’Stephanie acknowledges the challenges her son faces academically, she recognizes the value of MAM in providing him with opportunities for growth and social interaction.

La’Stephanie & her son E’dari

For La’Stephanie, MAM isn’t just about sports; it’s about creating a space where children can thrive holistically – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s about instilling values of teamwork, discipline, and compassion that extend far beyond the playing field. And as a parent, she is grateful for the presence of MAM in her community, recognizing the profound difference it makes in the lives of children like E’dari.

As we reflect on 25 years of MAM’s journey, the partnership with Compass Community Schools serves as a testament to the organization’s unwavering commitment to uplifting communities through youth empowerment. It’s not just about the number of years passed but the countless lives touched, the futures transformed, and the communities strengthened. Here’s to another 25 years of making a difference, one child at a time.

Join us in celebrating the 25th anniversary of Memphis Athletic Ministries by becoming a monthly donor, or a MAM MVP. For just $25 a month, you can help us continue to provide a safe and nurturing environment for youth to experience Gospel-centered sports and afterschool programming. Your monthly donation will make a significant impact on our ministry, allowing us to provide even more opportunities to coach, grow, and lead the youth of Memphis. Click the image above to give $25 for 25.

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